JSIM – Spaceship Flight Simulator

I have two brothers: Joshua, who is 17, and Jason, who’s 15th birthday was April 20. Jason likes space stuff, and he plays Kerbal Space Program almost every day. So, for his birthday, Joshua and I decided to make him a spaceship simulation. Joshua would handle the software and write a manual, and I would build the physical parts that make it actually feel like a spaceship and not just a video game.

We decided the setup was going to be Joshua’s laptop connected to a separate monitor. The laptop would run the program and act as a control console, and the monitor would be the window of Jason’s ship. Obviously, a full laptop keyboard would not feel like a spaceship, so we decided to have a few fake buttons that would press certain keys underneath. With less than a week to make everything, we got to work.

I started with a few large cardboard boxes. I didn’t end up using all of them, as I was originally planning to make a helmet. The first thing I made was the laptop screen cover. I added holes in the bottom for lights that would be on the screen.

Next I made the buttons. We collected some lids from various juice bottles, and then chose eight of them to use. I taped a rolled up strip of cardboard under each one, to press the correct key on the keyboard.

Then I made labels for all the buttons. Each label had a Greek letter, as these buttons would be used to type in codes to trigger events.

Next was the keyboard cover. I had some trouble lining it up with the things that would be plugged into the sides of the laptop, but it came out alright in the end.

Meanwhile, Joshua wrote a manual and had it printed. He put the pages into a three-ring binder.

The evening of the 20th, we set up the simulation environment. We put boxes around a desk, and covered them and the desk with blankets. We added a sun shade and some hoses to add to the sci-fi vibe, and used the closest chair we had to what one would expect in a spaceship.

Then came the big moment, Jason playing the simulation! Starting on the runway of a spaceport on Earth, and with Joshua’s guiding voice as a flight controller, he typed in a couple of codes to launch his ship. The ship reached orbit and approached a warp gate. A little while after entering the gate, an error sounded. One of the ATC oscillation drives had malfunctioned! Jason deduced the correct code to enter from the manual, and the problem was solved. The ship emerged from the end of the warp gate above Mars, where a large spherical space station was in orbit. As he neared the doors, he entered a final code to dock in the station, and the doors opened to a dark tunnel. Lights turned on ahead of his ship for a short distance, before leaving him in complete darkness.

As Jason got up from his chair, he said “That was… disappointing. To say the least.” He likes to give sarcastic remarks, so we can assume he enjoyed it. 😀

Island Sandbox for LD38

Just over a week ago, I made a game for Ludum Dare 38, with the theme “A Small World”. It’s called Island Sandbox, and it’s a tile-based sandbox game in which you spawn on a small island. It was supposed to be a survival game, but I ran out of time, so all you can do is place a few blocks (grass, trees, rocks).

View on Ludum Dare: https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/38/island-sandbox

Play on Newgrounds: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/692462

Here is a timelapse of the game development:

February 2015 Update

Hello! Sorry about not posting for almost a year. 😛

I haven’t done that much over the past 9 months, but here’s what I have done:

  • Light Wolf Studios relaunched, with a new website and Crush being redone from scratch.
  • Me and TechnoWolf99 made a small game for Ludum Dare 31 called Planet of the Snowmen.
  • Light Wolf Studios and some friends of ours are working on a cool new game, which will be released within the next month.

I will only post major things here from now on, so if you want to know everything that I’m doing, follow me on Twitter: @KentiyaWolf



Ludum Dare 29 and Other Stuffs

I just participated in Ludum Dare 29! The theme was “Beneath the Surface”.

My game called Magma Shuttle, and it’s an avoider game where you fly through the magma under the Earth’s crust, avoiding giant rocks and trying to last as long as you can.

Here is the game!

I had lots of delays, so I didn’t get it as good as I wanted it. Here is a list of things I wanted to add but didn’t have time to:
-Menu and Game music
-Saved scores
-Background images
-Better GUI elements
-Vertical panning
-Better story scene with pictures

I’ve done a few other things since I last posted here, so here they are:

  • Crush has been paused, see here for details.
  • I discovered Minecraft and now it’s one of my favorite games.

Heh heh. Yep. That’s it. 😐